Skip to main content

Literature Review: Know the Difference! Systemic Review vs. Literature Review

Learning to Write a Systematic Review of Literature

Systemic Review & Literature Review

It is common to confuse systematic and literature reviews as both are used to provide a summary of the existent literature or research on a specific topic.  Even with this common ground, both types vary significantly.  Please review the following chart (and its corresponding poster linked below) for the detailed explanation of each as well as the differences between each type of review.

Systematic Review vs Literature Review graph see PDF below for more content

Evidence Pyramid

Evidence Based Medical research pyramid

The evidence pyramid (image above) visually depicts the evidential strength of different research designs. Studies with the highest internal validity, characterized by a high degree of quantitative analysis, review, analysis, and stringent scientific methodology, are at the top of the pyramid. Observational research and expert opinion reside at the bottom of the pyramid. In evidence-based practice the systematic review is considered the highest level of information and is at the top of the pyramid.  (The pyramid was produced by HLWIKI Canada and is CC).